Sweet Suspense is the name of a rising pop girl group that you need to know! Comprised of Summer Reign, Bry Salaz, and Millie Thrasher, this Los Angeles-based girl group merges some of the brightest young talents from recent seasons of two popular reality-singing competitions, and they are coming for superstardom! With their incredible voices, bright stage shows, and vivacious personalities these girls mean business!
After Bry joined the group earlier this year Sweet Suspense spent the summer travelling North America with nine other rising talents on Johnny Wright’s Pop Nation Tour. PopWrapped had the chance to chat with the ladies before their Cleveland performance, and got the low down on all things Sweet Suspense. Read on to learn all about how the girls get ready for a show (you won’t believe the process), favorite moments onstage, and plans for the future!
From our very first moments together, the ladies of Sweet Suspense could not have been friendlier or more hyped up for the show! “We’re stoked” the girls explained, especially in love with the evening’s venue. “Every single House of Blues we’ve been to has been amazing, and this one is definitely awesome. We love this venue!” As the conversation turned towards other topics they continued to show a high level of energy and excitement!
Touring with nine other up-and-coming acts may seem a little overwhelming in theory, but the ladies of Sweet Suspense can attest to the fact that it is simply wonderful. “It’s the best! We honestly love every single person on this tour, and we’re friends with everybody. Even the dancers are incredible! Everyone is so nice, and it’s been so much fun”, the girls gushed about their experience.
None of the members of Sweet Suspense are unfamiliar with being around other talented acts thanks to their beginnings on reality singing contests. Millie and Summer were serendipitously grouped together during X-Factor’s third American season, while Bry strutted her stuff as a contestant on Gwen Stefani’s team on The Voice. The girls looked back on their experiences on the show fondly, drawing comparisons between reality television and their current gigs: “We had to be very quick on the show, and it’s definitely helped us. Being on tour is like being on a reality show, because you need adjust to the world around you.”
One thing that has required some adaptability on the Pop Nation Tour is travelling on a tour bus. Travelling on the company’s buses was a bit of a challenge for some of the acts, but Sweet Suspense lived the high life. “We got really lucky, because there’s a lot of space in our van. A lot of other people on the tour are jammed together like sardines. We feel sorry for them, but we’re really happy that we get space to stretch out.”
Millie summed things up nicely by stating, “When I am asleep on an eight hour car ride it’s a beautiful thing. I only have to wake up to go to Cracker Barrel, Chipotle, or Starbucks, and it’s a beautiful thing.” Bry and Millie are all about sleeping on the bus, resting in their individual bunks, one on top of the other while Summer reads. “She normally doesn’t sleep on buses,” Millie explained about her partner, though it turns out that Bry is the complete opposite, “Bry can fall asleep sitting up. We were literally in Ruby Tuesdays sitting down at dinner having a conversation. Next thing I know she’s sleeping!” Get that rest girl, because the show must go on!
Before hitting the stage Sweet Suspense has a pretty intricate pre-show ritual that they work their way through. “We’ll pray first” Millie explained, “Then me and Summer do this thing where we like turtle bite each other’s shoulders. Then Summer and Bry have a handshake, and Bry and I have a customized hug. Then we click shoes together and hip bump.” Whew, sounds like a lot of steps. “It’s cool, because we all do something together and then we do something all three of us together.” It sounds like a process, but it definitely works for the girls!
Once they hit the stage, the girls are truly at home. “I think I love performing in a sense that when I’m on a stage I feel some type of way so that I’m just in it,” Millie revealed. She explained that performing so frequently on the Pop Nation Tour was an amazing experience, because it let her really delve into the meaning behind every moment of the set. “I try to explore the music every single night and find something different to do. I think that’s one way to keep it interesting, just to explore the performance and convey a story.” The added benefit to her technique is that the show always feels new, even if it’s been performed countless times.
Regardless of how many times Sweet Suspense has performed on the road, things never get old for them. “I think it’s just seeing new faces and knowing that there are so many new people who are willing to come out and watch us. Just being in a new venue is enough.” A special focus on interacting with their fans also makes every single evening on tour special.
Summer explained that even making a special connection with one fan in the audience really makes a performance zing. “I love seeing one person smile. Seeing them see you and making that connection, I love that part.” Bry also revealed the lengths that the girls go to in order to ensure that they get every fan involved. “We’ll go all the way to the edge of the stage, we’ll hold their hands, we’ll take their phones onstage with us. Sometimes if you [Millie and Summer] are singing I’ll have a conversation with them.” When it’s all said and done, Bry says, “We just want to make sure that they’re having a good time and getting what they came for.”
What fans of Sweet Suspense came to see is a high energy show that simply exudes fierce, feminine fun. Girl Power is in full effect as the girls sashay across stage delivering flawless live vocals and executing tight choreographic feats. Millie, Bry, and Summer spend a lot of their show leading, turning, and popping with the best of them, adding an element of intricate fun to their show. The ladies were quick to thank their choreographers for providing them with plenty of sick moves to try out on the floor, and for their willingness to blend dance and live vocals to create the perfect set. “If we need to we’ll be like ‘hey our voices need this section, so let’s chill and vibe with the crowd here.’ They do that, and it’s really great because they give us this choreography and simplify as needed.”
For Millie, one part of the group’s set sticks out as memorable and truly gorgeous: “There’s this one part of our set where we have the audience say something of ours. It’s like ‘I see you move your lips, but it sounds like’ and they say ‘gibberish.’ I think to me hearing them say gibberish is the most beautiful thing. I just love the sound, and they always sound so good. There’s something that touches me, and I feel that there’s such a connection.” The moment has been special from the group’s first performance on tour. “We came up with it in rehearsal, so practicing and not hearing anybody say anything and then the first show we did people knew to say it. I was so baffled and taken aback. It made my heart so happy.”
Millie went on to sum up the entire experience of being onstage and connecting with the audience, “My goal as an artist is just to inspire one person in the crowd. I love music, so why not inspire people with music? And when you see someone feeling what you’re singing and believing what you’re singing when you’re putting your heart into it… there is no better feeling than that.”
After serving some serious skills onstage, Sweet Suspense likes to relax like anyone else. For Bry and Summer it’s all about getting a post-show snack. A self-identifying pizza enthusiast, Bry is looking for a slice “all day and night, unless my mom is like ‘Bry you shouldn’t be eating pizza.’” Summer has more of a sweet tooth, though she’s also looking out for a slightly healthy diet. Millie on the other hand likes to keep the ball rolling by mingling with fans by the group’s merch booth.
Since they finished up their run with the Pop Nation Tour things haven’t slowed down for Sweet Suspense. The group has officially turned their attention towards the promotion of their new single “Money.” Fans who managed to snag tickets to see Sweet Suspense on tour have already heard the single, as it was a staple on their setlist. “We’re performing our new single on tour to feel it out with everybody. After tour we’re going back to New York, and we’re going to do a music video too,” Summer revealed.
Through it all, Sweet Suspense will continue working on new music. The group revealed that they like to record with everyone in the booth at once, and that the entire process is very organic. “If one of us is singing the lead lines and someone else comes in singing harmony, we finish and it’s like ‘Let’s do that again!’” In fact, that is one of the group’s favorite things about working as a team. Summer expressed things succinctly by saying that “the really cool part about being in a group is that you get somebody to really feed off and hype you up.”
All of their hard work and promotion will eventually culminate in the release of an album or an EP, the first official release from the current lineup of the group. “You’ve always got to be working towards something,” Summer explained about the busy schedule.
When that new Sweet Suspense release hits the shelves, it may be packaged with a few other more unique branding materials. Chief amongst those may be a coffee table book publication of Bry’s photography that she has sweetly titled “Millie’s Facials Album.” What is Millie’s Facials Album you may be wondering? Millie explained that it is a collection of photos Bry has snapped that showcase “expressions that I make when no one else is around.” Bry on the other hand describes them as pure gold. “She just makes the weirdest faces, and they are AMAZING!” It's Kim Kardashian level excellence; in fact, her selfie book was the inspiration behind this project.
On photo in particular is a favorite of the groups. “I either look like I’m about to kill someone, or I just saw mac and cheese,” Millie described the photo, laughing. Since the picture sounded like such an instant classic (Bry described it as the perfect reaction photo for anything even), PopWrapped had the BRILLIANT idea to suggest it becomes the new album cover… You never know!
As the discussion turned to new music, we were curious if there were any dream collaborations for Sweet Suspense. Suffice it to say that they have some ideas, and most of them involve some of the top names in music! Bry was the first to chime in, and her response was instantaneous, “Ari-ana Grand-e”, she declared with reverence. “She’s about to come out with a new album, and you don’t even understand my excitement,” she gushed before telling us that seeing her on tour (Bry’s first concert experience) was one of the best experiences of her life.
Summer expressed a desire to delve into some of the more experimental sounds of Jack-U (Diple and Skrillex’s brainchild). “I would love to do something with them; they’re so amazing and talented, and they come up with something different that always gets people going.” Millie on the other hand had another pop icon in mind: the absolutely legendary Janet Jackson. “I normally say Beyonce, but I realized that Janet Jackson is back in the game. The queen is back. I’m definitely going to say Janet, because she is incredible. I’ve always looked up to her, and I think just to collaborate with her would be an amazing experience because she just knows so much and is so understanding of the craft.” Can we make all of these happen please, because we’re currently LIVING for these ideas! In case you were curious, Millie has already purchased her tickets to see Janet in concert as well.
Until then keep an eye out for the “Money” music video, because we have a feeling that Sweet Suspense is destined for great things. Keep an eye out for details on the group’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!